Akhila Chandra Padhi
 
Many people think that the caste system in India is promoted by the Vedas. How ever Vedas never say that. Then they started saying that the same is in Geeta. And Bhagaban Krishna started the caste system. For that they quote two slokas from the Geeta : 3.35  "sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
para-dharmat sv-anusthitat
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah
para-dharmo bhayavahah"
According to them, it says the shudras to be slaves always. Where as the truth is some thing different. Chapter – 3 " Karma Yoga" meaning "Deeds". In the previous chapter Krishna said Arjuna about the knowledge. He said Knowing the Vedas but not following them is not enough, what is required is knowing the summary of the vedas and following them.
This is the summary of the entire chapter –"vihaya kaman yah sarvan
pumams carati nihsprhah
nirmamo nirahankarah
sa shantim adhigacchati"
"A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego—he alone can attain real peace."But Arjuna had some more questions, so he asked,"arjuna uvaca
jyayasi cet karmanas te
mata buddhir janardana
tat kim karmani ghore mam
niyojayasi keshava
vyamisreneva vakyena
buddhim mohayashiva me
tad ekam vada niscitya
yena sreyo ’ham apnuyam"
"Arjuna said: O Janardana, O Keshava, why do You want to engage me in this ghastly warfare, if You think that intelligence is better than fruitive work?""My intelligence is bewildered by Your equivocal instructions. Therefore, please tell me decisively which will be most beneficial for me."Then Krishna said,
"sri-bhagavan uvaca
loke ’smin dvi-vidha nistha
pura prokta mayanagha
jnana-yogena sankhyanam
karma-yogena yoginam"
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O sinless Arjuna, I have already explained that there are two classes of men who try to realize the self. Some are inclined to understand it by empirical, philosophical speculation, and others by devotional service.""na hi kascit ksanam api
jatu tisthaty akarma-krt
karyate hy avasah karma
sarvah prakriti-jair gunaih"
"Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment."  REMEMBER THE WORD 'GUNAH' HERE. MEANS INTERNAL QUALITY. AND THIS GUNA ON FIRST HAND INDICATES ABOUT YOUR VARNA.So the Varna has been derived from your Guna here. Now what karma should you do to be in a particular varna ????Now Krishna says,"niyatam kuru karma tvam
karma jyayo hy akarmanah
sarira-yatrapi ca te
na prasiddhyed akarmanah"
"Perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. One cannot even maintain one’s physical body without work."Remember the word used here is "Karma" not "Dharma".. So do (karma)work according to your internal quality, i.e. Guna… Not working is not good. So keep on doing what you can do at best.. If you can study, keep on studying, If you can teach, keep on teaching, if you can rescue people keep on that, if ever you are not able to do these above activities, keep on doing what ever you can do, but dont be idle.."yas tv atma-ratir eva syad
atma-trptas ca manavah
atmany eva ca santustas
tasya karyam na vidyate"
"But for one who takes pleasure in the self, whose human life is one of self-realization, and who is satisfied in the self only, fully satiated—for him there is no duty."And Krishna gave a number of examples describinng what is Karma..The most important word then he said in 3.28 ,"tattva-vit tu maha-baho
guna-karma-vibhagayoh
guna gunesu vartanta
iti matva na sajjate…"
He says to differentiate between the Guna and Karma. And this combination of Guna and karma describes you what shoul be your Dharma meaning the right way to perform what you do.So at first, see what qualities you have, then select a profession best suited to your quality, namely Law, Medicine, Engg, Teaching, Warfare etc, and perform the duties given under that profession alone. That is your Dharma…Then He said,"sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
para-dharmat sv-anusthitat
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah
para-dharmo bhayavahah"
"It is far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though faultily, than another’s duties perfectly. Destruction in the course of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in another’s duties, for to follow another’s path is dangerous."  Reading the verse alone you failed to understand the real meaning of it. But if you read the entire chapter, you will understand Dharma is nothing but the professional ethics. If you are a lawer, you can understand they have to follow such ethics. While arguing a case for your client you should follow your ethics only. Its always better to die for your ethics, then to do the ethics meant for some other person.The other sloka they quote is, 4.13 "catur-varnyam maya srstam
guna-karma-vibhagasah
tasya kartaram api mam
viddhy akartaram avyayam
"
And they translate it as if Caste system is derived by birth. But in earlier chapter it has been clarified that Caste has nothing to do with birth, it is derived from one's guna and karma. This verse only says that this words are created by him. The real meaning is as follows- The four varnas are created by me according to different qualities (Guna – गुण), and being deeds (karma – कर्म). Although the creator of these, know me as non doer (akartaarm – कर्तारं) being immutable.Before I write my comments read the Comments of the great saints on this –Lord Krishna is the origin of the four classifications in Vedic culture as spoken here. Those of sattva guna or the mode of goodness are designated as Brahmins or priestly class. Those of mixed sattva guna and rajas guna or the mode of passion are known as ksatriyas or warrior class. Those mixed with rajas guna and tama guna or the mode of ignorance are the vaisyas or mercantile class and those in tama guna are the sudras or servant class. The actions of Lord always possess shama or tranquillity and dama or self- control in their performance thus even if He appears to do nothing He is the performer and if He appears to be the performer He is the non- performer of His actions. Even though He is the origin of the entire creation He has no desires and remains unattached. Thus it has been perceived that those who perform actions without desires, unattached to rewards have developed an attribute of the Lord. (By madhavacharya)Now My comment-
Two words are very important here, one is Guna (Internal quality). Some are good in studies, some are not. Some are brave, some are not, some are good in making money, some are not, some are very bad in all the aboves. So its first Guna that decided to which class a human will belong to. Guna is also said in vedas. Veda classifies Gunas as Satva Guna, Rajja Guna and tammo Guna. Now people corellate these gunas with color of skin. But these are not color of skin, these are attributes given to understand the inner nature of the Gunas. People with satva gunas only (or good quality) are brahmins, rajas gunas are khatriya or baishyas and tamo gunas are sudras.
In other words, those who are good in studies are brahmins, those who are good in wars are khatriyas, those whoare good in business are baishyas and those who are not good in studies, nor in warfare nor in business are sudras.Now the next important word is karma (Deeds) Meaning behavior deeds of a human also effects his varna. Even though one is good in studies, but later joins army will be considered as a khatriya (Prove Ravan, born from a Brahmin, learned all vedas and practiced priesthood for 20 years, then became warrior, afterwards he was considered as a khatriya, and Ram at the end learnt khatriya dharma from Ravan). Similarly if some one is good in wars but later changes to learn and teach will be considered as a brahman (Prove – Rishi Viswamitra was a king. He saw that knowledge has great power then swords. So, he did tapasya to attain knowledge, later he was 1st said as Rajarishi and later Maharishi). If a sudra learns and teaches will be considered as a Brahmin too (Prove – Vyasa Deva, was a sudra, he remained as a shudra till his marriage. Then he learned vedas, wrote Puranas, people called him a great saint and greatest brahmin of that time). Not only a shudra but also a dasyu if learns and delivers knowledge will be said as brahmin (Prove – Valmiki, he was a docait, he used to loot innocent people. later did tapasya, got knowledge and wrote Ramayan. He was also considered as maharishi)
 


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